“While their objectives also include election interference, their activities and their effects continue without interruption year-round and are not limited to political elections,” the report added.
“Their goals are to perpetrate financial fraud, spread anti-American propaganda, manipulate the online public community spaces and sow discord by exploiting and inflaming national divisions,” the VVA report said of the bogus groups.
But posts by bogus groups posing as legitimate veterans organizations were seeded with messages and false news reports intended to “gin up hatred, anger and discord in the U.S.,” said Goldsmith, a former Army sergeant who served in Iraq.
“They’re incredibly good at branding” and are seeking to “pit us against each other” in the military and veterans community, said Kristofer Goldsmith, VVA chief investigator and author of the 191-page report.
The same Russian “troll factories” that sought to influence the 2016 elections have continued to target service members, veterans and their families online with “hateful and divisive messages,” according to a two-year investigative report by Vietnam Veterans of America.